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General News of Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

US military takes over Terminal 1 – Aviation Minister reveals


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Aviation minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, has revealed that the United States military has secured some parts of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for its military operations.

The arrangement, according to the minister, is part of the defence cooperation agreement signed by the two countries and subsequently approved by parliament in 2018.

Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Dr Kofi Adda said the North American country is using Terminal 1 for logistical support and hangaring services.

According to the aviation minister, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), has a 15-year rented agreement with McDan Aviation which is providing services to the US military.

“It is a fixed-base operation agreement, McDan, per an agreement with the Ghana Airports Company, can offer the same services to private jet operators as well,” he told parliament.

All transactions are expected to be subjected to customs checks, he assured.

What is the agreement about?

In 2018, Ghana signed a defence agreement with the US and this move raised controversies in Parliament and the country.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) blamed government for downplaying its sovereignty to the US.

Previous administrations, including John Mahama, John Kufuor and Jerry Rawlings all signed similar agreements, says government.

The agreement amongst other things allows the US Military to use Ghana as a base for staging and deploying forces.

Despite the unrestricted access and tax exemptions, Ghana also agreed to bear the cost and take primary responsibility for securing the US facilities in Ghana.

Ghanaian soldiers are expected to get some counterterrorism training as part of the agreement while the state also benefits some $20 million.

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